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Old 12-17-2008, 07:45 PM   #1
pfbz
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Default Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

I just bought myself a CSPS/Costco 41" Tool chest combo. My older 27" chest has been overflowing for years and at $400 for the black combo, I could no longer resist. It's all assembled and standing empty. Bottom cabinet is all full-width drawers, top cabinet is all 2/3'd 1/3'd split drawers. No "bucket" drawers which is fine with me.




Seems like an obvious question, but any suggestions or tips on laying out my tools within the chest? I'll likely live with whatever I do for another 10+ years so I thought I might take a little time and think about it...

Obviously it depends on what *your* particular tools are, but like most, I have lots of frequently used metric, a fair amount of rarely used standards, tons of ratchet/extensions, full t-handle sets for sockets and allen's, etc.

What are your brilliant tool layouts and ideas?
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Start with your most used tools at about waist high in your box and work up and down with your tools that are not used as much.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

First post, welcome to the board. Reds advice sounds good for a rule of thumb. I will add a bit too.

Some guys put all their sockets and ratchets all together in one drawer. I do not like that setup. I suggest separating your SAE and metric tools into different drawers. I use the very top of my top box for nothing but 1/2" drive SAE, I use another drawer for my 1/4" stuff, another for 3/8" etc. You might have to play around with it a bit to get it figured to suit you, just start filling it up, you will figure out what you like soon enough.

BTW: Congrats on the box, it looks very nice to me.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

I'll definitely be splitting the metric & standard. Splitting off the 1/2" stuff hadn't occured to me, but makes sense as it doesn't get frequent use.

With all the drawers I was thinking of splitting phillips and standard screwdrivers as well instead of one big, messy screwdriver drawer... Sound crazy?
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

When I was trying to organize my tool box I already had a set of sockets and they were hard to organize eficiantly and find easily. Well I went looking around at different organizers and found out that alot of them didn't lay them out in a way you could see them all flat. So I purchased a set empty box like this. After purchasing it I realized my set wasn't exactly the same, so I went back when I noticed the set was on sale and purchased a new set kept the sizes that weren't in the new set and gave the old set to a friend. The drawers fit sideways and leave a little room for extras.

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Old 12-17-2008, 09:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Was this something you purchased in the store? Because I don't have a Costco within 30 miles, but maybe worth checking out. Does it have ball bearing drawer slides?
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Yes, in-store and yes, ball bearing slides.

Even our local stores are inconsistent in which tool chests they carry. There are some on their web site as well, but not as well priced.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Terabyte made a tread about Shadowing you might find interesting. I plan to do this to my box sometime soon http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...lbox+shadowing
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfbz View Post
I'll definitely be splitting the metric & standard. Splitting off the 1/2" stuff hadn't occured to me, but makes sense as it doesn't get frequent use.

With all the drawers I was thinking of splitting phillips and standard screwdrivers as well instead of one big, messy screwdriver drawer... Sound crazy?
This is how I handled the separation of screwdrivers, the Phillips are all left of the divider, the balance are standard right of the divider, all in one drawer.

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Old 12-17-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

You know I never really thought about how I had mine organized. I know I have moved stuff around at least 10 different times, sometimes because of new tools sometimes because of new toolboxes. The best thing I found for me is to start putting stuff in it and start using it and see if it works and change it as you go. I know one thing I was bad about was not wanting to change my first attempt but got over that quick. Good luck.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

If you haven't already seen the Show Us Your Toolbox thread, you'll want to browse all 18,000 pages of that for some ideas. There is a full range of examples from ridiculously anal to psychotically trashed. I'm with you on giving it a bit of forethought; I just got another top chest and am taking my time on rearranging everything.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Seein as how you're a rider, it's clearly you'll have inch and metric (Whitworth, he asks, smiling?).

3/8 vs 1/2 and 1/4 is a good idea as well -- spliting screwdrivers as to type works well -- I've got a drawer of bike specific tools as well (fork oil level tool, spring compressor, like that).

Torque wrenches in a separate drawer so they're not banged around more than necessary --

Severed raises a good point -- don't be bashful about coming to the conclusion that your original scheme doesn't work well, and falling back 5 yards and starting over --

My only problem is that, unlike many here, the drawers in my roll cab aren't high enough for deepwell sockets to stand upright --

SInce this is my only problem, you would be correct in assuming that I'm one heck of a lucky fella!

;-}

Most of all, have fun with the project!
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bomber View Post
(fork oil level tool...

ruler with masking tape? turkey baster? haha
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

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Originally Posted by isaac338 View Post
ruler with masking tape? turkey baster? haha

SSSshhhhhhh -- I've got my buds convinced it's a high-tech Motion-Pro prototype!
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

I am not a neat freek, I want it handy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tool box top 2.JPG (51.0 KB, 972 views)
File Type: jpg tool box base.JPG (49.0 KB, 695 views)
File Type: jpg bench wrenches.JPG (55.6 KB, 688 views)
File Type: jpg bench wrenchess.JPG (42.3 KB, 629 views)
File Type: jpg bench1.jpg (36.0 KB, 563 views)
File Type: jpg bench1a.JPG (43.2 KB, 513 views)
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sberry27 View Post
I am not a neat freek, I want it handy.
I really like the way you do your tools.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hholmberg View Post
I really like the way you do your tools.
+1 to that!

If efficiency is the end goal, then organization is part of the path to success.

With the right tools readily at hand, no time is wasted looking for missing tools or walking from location to location to gather scattered tools.

Too much organization though, and time is wasted over-cleaning the tools and putting them away "just so."



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Old 12-19-2008, 05:36 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pfbz View Post
I just bought myself a CSPS/Costco 41" Tool chest combo. My older 27" chest has been overflowing for years and at $400 for the black combo, I could no longer resist. It's all assembled and standing empty. Bottom cabinet is all full-width drawers, top cabinet is all 2/3'd 1/3'd split drawers. No "bucket" drawers which is fine with me.




Seems like an obvious question, but any suggestions or tips on laying out my tools within the chest? I'll likely live with whatever I do for another 10+ years so I thought I might take a little time and think about it...

Obviously it depends on what *your* particular tools are, but like most, I have lots of frequently used metric, a fair amount of rarely used standards, tons of ratchet/extensions, full t-handle sets for sockets and allen's, etc.

What are your brilliant tool layouts and ideas?
Nice box man!
I just bought this little gem for 300.00


Quote:
Originally Posted by toadjammer View Post
When I was trying to organize my tool box I already had a set of sockets and they were hard to organize eficiantly and find easily. Well I went looking around at different organizers and found out that alot of them didn't lay them out in a way you could see them all flat. So I purchased a set empty box like this. After purchasing it I realized my set wasn't exactly the same, so I went back when I noticed the set was on sale and purchased a new set kept the sizes that weren't in the new set and gave the old set to a friend. The drawers fit sideways and leave a little room for extras.

I have this tool set and the drawers fit right into my new tool box perfectly. Then when I go on wheeling trips I can just take them out and put them together and I am ready to go.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Quote:
Most of all, have fun with the project!
+1 Totally agree but how can you not? This is probably the only project that you'll ever have that you will get to play with EVERY TOOL YOU OWN!

One thing that seems to be different for me, I like having all my sockets in the same drawer. Metric on the right because I use them more(right handed) and Standard to the left. I do however like to keep my std/metric wrenches in seperate drawers with my basic combo set laid out flat for easy access. Of course at least one misc junk drawer as well

Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tool Chest Layout? How do you organize yours...

Here is a picture of the drawer I was talking about. I thought it worked well. Makes it really nice when getting done with a job to take a look and make sure everything is put away.
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